Research Team of Martin Vácha


neuroethology, senses, magnetoreception, insects, compass sense, geomagnetic field, magnetic orientation, electromagnetic fields, light, Cryptochrome, circadian rhythms,  cell signalling

Head of laboratory: Ass. Prof. Martin Vácha, Ph.D.
Office: 123 (Kamenice 5 — A36)
Phone: 549 49 7877

Goals and Methods

The question How and why do animals perceive geomagnetic field is one challenging problems of neuroethology. The possibility that the compass sense is of photo-chemical nature and that it may be linked to visual pathway is recently discussed in some animals. Such hypothesis would imply that some animals may see the position of geomagnetic vector. Our work focused on laboratory testing of insect abilities to perceive the magnetic field of the Earth has shown that some aspects of insect magnetoreception are in line with the vision-based compass hypothesis. Our long-term goal is solving still enigmatic function and localisation of magneto-sensory and magnetic information processing structures in insect nervous system. We employ laboratory behavioral assayes based on video tracking of animals in arena or on video-based analysis of spontaneous or learned behavioral reactions to magnetic stimuli.

Lab members

Selected publications

Links to web sites of related laboratories

Photo documentation